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Jake Fisher finds the love of his life, Natalie, and imagines their future together as husband and wife. Instead, she dumps him and a few days later then invites him to her wedding to a man she just met. Jake watches Natalie take her vows, and she tells him to leave her alone forever. For six years, he keeps that promise. But when he sees Natalie's husband's obituary, Jake decides to attend the funeral and comfort Natalie. He is stunned to discover that the man's widow is not Natalie and that the church where he watched her marry has no record of the ceremony. Verdict Coben is one of the best thriller writers in the business, and he delivers another amazing novel that will resonate with readers long after the final page is turned.The narrative is immersive, and the well-drawn characters and twisting plotting are stellar. With such a cool hook and a surprising and satisfying payoff, don't wait six years to read what might be Coben's best since Tell No One. [See Prepub Alert, 10/17/12.]-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Coben, the first mystery writer to win all three of the big crime-fiction awards the Shamus, the Edgar, and the Anthony is an absolute master of the time element in his thrillers. Usually, he sets a clock running, or a bomb ticking, in the first few pages. The hero works against the clock and against all probability in extricating himself and his loved ones from peril. This latest throws a new wrinkle into the time element: there is no urgency at all. The hero is actually warned by everyone he respects that action can only do harm, and the main action has happened six years before. And yet Coben manages to make this one every bit as suspenseful as his ticktock thrillers. It's a story about lost love. Political-science professor Jake Fisher has endured seeing his love, Natalie, marry another man just weeks after Jake and Natalie's breakup. At the wedding, which Fisher attended in a fit of masochism and disbelief, Natalie warned him never to contact her. Fisher keeps the promise until he sees an obituary for Natalie's husband, an alum of the same New England college where Fisher teaches. What happens after Fisher attends the funeral, finding another widow in place of Natalie, is mind-boggling. Fisher's attempts to find Natalie again and Coben's artful depiction of his protagonist Is he determined or unhinged? make for riveting reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Coben has 50 million books in print worldwide, and his last five novels have all debuted at number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Enough said.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist
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In the prologue to this Kafkaesque stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Stay Close), Jake Fisher, a political science professor at Lanford College in Massachusetts, promises the love of his life, Natalie Avery, to leave her and the man she's about to wed, Todd Sanderson, alone. For six years Jake keeps his promise, until he sees Todd's obituary, flies to the deceased's Palmetto Bluff, S.C., funeral, and finds that the widow is not Natalie. This is merely the first of many shocks. He later gets the brush-off from Natalie's sister, and when he tries to revisit the retreat in Kraftboro, Vt., that Natalie was attending when they fell in love, he's told there is (and was) no such place. Surprising secrets among Jake's friends and colleagues propel him on a trail of violence and labyrinthine deception. Coben has achieved greater suspense in other thrillers, but this ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots. 5-city author tour. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.